Mexican towns end their Holy Week observances by parading Jewish effigies through the streets, then setting them on fire.

By Nathan Burstein

The 2006 film 'Borat' depicted an absurd 'Running of the Jew' ceremony. In Mexico, a newspaper is reporting on a genuine 'Burning of the Jews' event. (Illustrative photo credit: Ruben Fleischer/20th Century Fox)

The world is full of charming Easter traditions, but this isn’t one of them.

A newspaper in Mexico is detailing last Sunday’s “burning of the Jews,” an annual tradition in Coita, a small town in the state of Chiapas. As part of the custom, locals spend the middle of their Holy Week making Jewish effigies — a reference to Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus before His crucifixion.

The “Jews” are then displayed for three days in different parts of the town, serving as an example of poor conduct. Then, they are paraded through the streets on Easter Sunday, with local children assigned to stand in front of them and collect money for flammable materials.

The article notes that the tradition in Coita, where locals set fire to the effigies on Easter itself, differs from other towns who burn the effigies on the day before. The burnings are followed by a dance, where locals eat a corn treat made with cocoa. The article says the custom “strengthens” the culture of the Zoque, an indigenous people in southern Mexico who were converted to Catholicism.

The ceremony seems to echo, to some extent, the “Running of the Jew” event depicted in Sacha Baron Cohen’s 2006 movie “Borat” — a work of fiction.

The Chiapas Herald takes an uncritical view of the ritual, reporting that it “fosters unity and respect” and “purifies the soul.”

3 thoughts on “Mexican towns “find unity” in anti-Semitic Easter ritual

  • The Mexican brand of “Christianity” has many problems. Much paganism has been incorporated into their customs and practices that have nothing to do with scripture. It doesn’t surprise me that anti-Semitism has crept into their “religion”. They just don’t get that Jesus Christ was, is and always will be Jewish and that He laid down His life to redeem their sins and mine willingly, no man took it from Him. We are all going to encounter many surprises when we stand before Him, but anti-Semitism is just plain tragic. Please Holy Spirit, show them the error of their ways.

  • These idiotic mexicans are a bad testimony to all, and the catholic upbringing is behind most of it. There is so much paganism in mexico all the way back to the Aztecs, who found it easy to just give the old gods new names.

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